Objective – To compare airway microbiological culture and susceptibility results in 2 groups of dogs and cats: 1 with respiratory failure requiring positive pressure ventilation (PPV) and 1 with respiratory disease.
Design – Retrospective study.
Setting – University teaching hospital.
Animals – Fifty-two dogs and cats requiring PPV that had an airway microbiologic culture submitted from October 1, 2003 to October 31, 2008 were included. One hundred and four airway microbiologic cultures from dogs and cats with respiratory disease not requiring PPV were randomly sampled for comparison.
Interventions – None.
Measurements and Main Results – Patients with respiratory failure were more likely to have a gram-negative enteric isolate identified (P<0.001), while patients with respiratory disease were more likely to have a gram-negative nonenteric isolate (P<0.001) or anaerobic isolate (P<0.001) identified. Aerobic bacterial isolates from patients with respiratory failure were less likely to be susceptible to ampicillin (P=0.006), amoxicillin/clavulonate (P<0.001), chloramphenicol (P=0.004), enrofloxacin (P<0.001), ticarcillin/clavulonate (P=0.004), and the combination of ampicillin with enrofloxacin (P<0.001) than were aerobic bacterial isolates from patients with respiratory disease.
Conclusions – Canine and feline patients with respiratory failure severe enough to require PPV exhibit a different pattern of bacterial isolates cultured from their airways when compared with isolates from patients with respiratory disease that has not resulted in ventilator dependence. These isolates are more likely to be resistant to commonly used antimicrobials/antimicrobial combinations than patients in the respiratory disease group. These findings suggest that in canine and feline patients with infectious lower respiratory tract disease, consideration of the severity of the pulmonary insult may allow for better prediction of likely isolates and their antimicrobial susceptibilities. Further prospective studies with a standardized collection technique are warranted.